How to create a communication plan for your company?

Creating a communication plan from scratch is no easy task. Maybe if you're here it's because you need help, inspiration, or call it X. You are in luck. In this post we are going to give you the keys to create a useful and effective communication plan. Here we go!

Communication plans are usually prepared on an annual basis because their objectives and strategies are usually long-term. Why long-term? Perhaps this example illustrates it a bit: achieving brand relevance or becoming a benchmark is not something that is achieved overnight. So our first piece of advice is to be patient and make sure you create a communication plan that meets your company's communication needs.

Let's go by parts...

A good starting point is to rewrite your company's mission, vision and values. I write "rewrite", for the sake of redundancy, because it is possible that your company has these three bases marked but they have become obsolete and you need to make some changes. Or maybe not. All this will help us to know where we want to go in terms of external and internal communication.

The following points should be established for both communications (external and internal) because they will not be the same in one case as in the other.

ObjectivesWhat do you want to achieve with this plan? Maybe outwardly you want to get your brand recognized or maybe you want to become a benchmark in the sector. However, behind closed doors you will have completely different objectives, such as achieving a two-way communication in the company that will help you to know what are the real concerns of employees.

AudienceWho are you going to target? Here, as with the objectives, your audience will not be the same. You must establish which target audience you are going to address because knowing your audience in detail will help you to approach them effectively. Let's take an example again: who are you going to target if you are a technology company that aims to attract talent? People who might work for the competition, bright students who are finishing their studies and are looking for an opportunity, unemployed people who have been denied that opportunity, etc. Extra trick: One of the best exercises to know if something can work in terms of communication is to use empathy. Put yourself in your audience's shoes.

StrategyStrategy and actions can be confused because both go hand in hand, but to make it easy to understand, the strategy is the guide of the actions. Do you want to be a reference within the decoration sector? A strategy to follow could be to appear in specialized interior design media and an action would be to insert an advertorial in the well-known magazine El Mueble.

SharesAs reflected in the previous point, the actions are the different points that will make up the strategy and that will help us achieve the objective. These actions will also be different for internal and external communication.

TimingWhen will you execute the different actions? You probably do not know clearly what day each action will take place, so the most logical and useful thing to do is to mark the timing by quarters or four quarters. This way, it will be easier for you to get organized and get down to work. This way, you will not have to take care of all the actions at once, but you will be able to do them throughout the year.

CSR and reputation crisis

Roughly speaking, this is as far as the basic structure of a communication plan. However, although not all plans include it, the ideal is to leave a space for Corporate Social Responsibility and another for a contingency plan in case of a reputation crisis.

Corporate Social Responsibility is linked to the social values that a company may have, which is why it is not always worked out. CSR is all the actions that a company takes to make a positive contribution to society in ecological, social, financial, etc. matters. These types of policies provide visibility, a good image and even improve employee engagement. However, all these actions must be very well aligned with the company's line of business and values to avoid your CSR actions being branded as image whitewashing and causing a reputation crisis. Here you can see some real examples.

And speaking of reputation crises...

Ideally, your company's communication plan should include what to do in the event of a reputational crisis. Our advice is to be pragmatic, as sometimes very extensive contingency plans are drawn up which, when used, make it difficult to react as quickly as a reputation crisis requires. So, what is the most necessary thing to do in these cases?

  • Knowing how to act: A schematic with the steps to follow as a conceptual map is visual and easy to understand.
  • Create a crisis committee with the people involved and who must make decisions.
  • Have a checklist to check what resources we have.

I end with an important reminder: a communication plan must be reviewed, modified and adapted over time in order to be successfulDo you agree? Leave us a comment with your opinion.

 

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